30 September 2019, 23:34
Court treats refusal of Batumi Mayoralty to build a mosque as discrimination
A Batumi court has obliged the Mayoralty to review its refusal to build a mosque.
The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that in May 2017, the Batumi Mayoralty did not allow the Muslim community to build a mosque, since the land plot purchased by the community for the purpose is located within a dense residential area.
The construction of a new mosque in Batumi has been discussed since 2016.
The site for the mosque is indeed located within a densely populated area, but this did not prevent from building Christian churches there, said the judge, as quote by the website of the Georgian Channel One.
The Fund set up for the construction of a new mosque and the Georgian Muslims' Union are satisfied with the recognition of discrimination against Batumi Muslims, the "Georgia Online" writes. However, Anzon Khatiashvili, a claimants' representative, has noted that the return of the mosque-building issue back to the Mayoralty has only delayed his decision.
Now, Batumi operates only one mosque – the Orta Djame, built in 1886. According to local Muslims, the building is too small; and believers have to pray in its yard.
In March 2018, the Institute of Tolerance and Diversity, the UN Georgian Association and the Muslims' Union of Georgia found out that Muslim women in Adjara had no chance to receive higher education, could not get a job, and themselves refused to participate in political and public life.